Martial Arts “Masters” – FACT or FANTASY? – Part 6

This is “Part 6” and the final section in the series of articles titled “Martial Arts ‘Masters’ – FACT of FANTASY?”.  I hope that this series has served to educate and stimulate. Please feel free to add your comments or your own personal conclusions either at the end of this post or on our “Comment” page.

Shihan Pascetta - Aiki-Jitsu Seminar - Israel

 

MORE “REAL TIME” CONSIDERATIONS

In further considering the differences between “Full time” Masters and “Part time” Masters it is only fair to acknowledge that there are other factors that can also weigh in favor the credibility of the “Part timer”.  Specifically, one pertinent and mitigating factor may well be the type of full time work that a particular Master does in addition to his “Part time” activity teaching Martial Arts.

There are examples of Part time Masters who’s “other” employment parallels and/or supplements their Martial Arts activity. Several examples where this may make a difference might include a full time career Law Enforcement Officer or a full time Career Soldier.

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Martial Arts “Masters” – FACT or FANTASY? – Part 5

A new section to this article: “Martial Arts ‘Masters’ – FACT or FANTASY?” will be posted every Thursday.  Please leave a comment giving your feedback, questions, and/or opinions. I look forward to the discussions.

Shihan Pascetta (White Gi, Anti-Club) Summer Training - Wildwood, NJ circa 1969

 

QUALITATIVE EVALUATION

In the interest of fairness and realism we must also not assume that simply because an individual practitioner has opted to work full time as a Martial Arts instructor that this automatically legitimizes him/her as a legitimate “Master” teacher. If that were the case then any person who opted to open a full time business could erroneously call himself a “MA Master”. First we must look at how, when, where, and from whom he/she received his initial and original teaching credentials.

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Martial Arts “Masters” – FACT or FANTASY? – Part 4

A new section to this article: “Martial Arts ‘Masters’ – FACT or FANTASY?” will be posted every Thursday.  Please leave a comment giving your feedback and/or opinions. I look forward to the discussions.

Shihan Pascetta & Osama Arkia - Israel

 

QUESTIONABLE PRACTICES

Unfortunately, today there are those individuals who would take a loose interpretation of aforementioned requirements and claim that since they were the “founder” or “patriarch” of their own “system” that they are “Grand Master” or 10th Degree. The pertinent question is: “Grand Master” of what?

In today’s modern age there are those who have used this 10th Degree status under the proposition that they are “founders” of their own system. This is a seriously questionable practice. If it were an instant way to credibility then any individual with little or no training and experience could create a fantasy that he/she had ‘created’ his/her own unique system. My opinion is that, although they may or may not actually be in the process of attempting to create their own system, such a system and their “real” status would certainly lack much substantiated credibility as compared with those individuals whose work and efforts had stood the test of time and scrutiny of their peers. Age  old wisdom dictates, “Let the buyer beware.” (more…)

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Martial Arts “Masters” – FACT or FANTASY? – Part 3

A new section to this article: “Martial Arts ‘Masters’- FACT or FANTASY?” will be posted every Thursday.  Please leave a comment giving your feedback and/or opinions. I look forward to the discussions.

Shihan Pascetta - Okinawa 1987

 

Significance of Black Belt Levels

Standards for the higher degrees/levels of Black Belt have taken much longer to develop.  Most established systems view the first three levels of Black Belt as levels where the student focuses on perfecting the physical technique and begins to better understand the relationship between the various aspects of the system. The student begins to better understand the principles governing those aspects along with pertinent tactics and strategies for application. It is significant to note that he must also gain greater experience in passing such knowledge and information along to students with less experience.

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Martial Arts “Masters” – FACT or FANTASY? – Part 2

A new section to this article: “Martial Arts ‘Masters’- FACT or FANTASY?” will be posted every Thursday.  Please leave a comment giving your feedback and/or opinions. I look forward to the discussions.

COMPARISONS TO OTHER DISCIPLINES

Students of history may well make some parallel comparisons with the evolution of other systems of academic education. At one time in history there were some very famous scholars and “master” teachers whose work has stood the test of time and is still seen as valid today. Aristotle, Plato, Leonardo Da Vinci, Confucius, Lao Tzu, are but a few. These “Masters” taught long before there were universities or diplomas and degrees issued.

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Martial Arts “Masters” – FACT or FANTASY? – Part 1

 

A new section will be posted to this article: “Martial Arts ‘Masters’ – FACT or FANTASY?”, every Thursday.  Please leave a comment giving your feedback and/or opinions. I look forward to the discussions.


Did you ever question what the term, “Black Belt”, or, Martial Arts “Master”, actually represented?

HISTORY and BACKGROUND

Martial Arts in one form or another has steadily become an integral part of the “western experience” over the last 6 or 7 decades. There are few action movies or television dramas worldwide today that don’t display some sort of martial art technique and sometimes even the more subtle, mental and philosophical aspects as well.

Along with this exposure also comes an element that has both added to the credibility of such skills/talents and also detracted. This is the element of “belt ranking”. There are few westerners who haven’t been exposed to the terms “Black Belt” or perhaps “Karate Master”, “Kung fu Master, etc..

The pertinent question here is what, in fact, do the terms, “Black Belt” and/or “Master”  represent in reality, rather than in fantasy. (more…)

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